The selection of the 2018 world Cup: Italy is one step away from failure (VIDEO)

Photo: Reuters

The Italian team failed the first play-off match against Sweden: he created only a half chance in 90 minutes, lost 0:1 and lost Verratti ahead of the return leg.

If the team Ventura will not work to rectify the situation on Monday, the world Cup will take place without “, Italy squadra Azzurra” for the first time since 1958.

Sweden – Italy – 1:0 (0:0).

Johansson, 61 (1:0).

In the return leg on November 13.


For Italy it was more than a match of the year. It was enough just to look at the cover of the leading sports Newspapers, to read all these slogans, written in large letters: “We believe!”, “We Are Italy!”, “Take us to the world Cup!”, and at a distance to feel the excitement that swept the Apennines.

Italy was afraid. Probably not so much a rival but herself: the weakness of the generation called the poorest talent in the country’s history, questionable decisions by the coach Giampiero Ventura (which is only a suicidal 4-2-4 lineup against Spain), which already led to the failure of the ending group of the qualifying tournament, as well as the enormous pressure from all sides.

It would seem, little more than a year ago, Antonio Conte has shown at the Euro-2016 the whole football world how to build a quality team, with star players. Now the situation has reached the point that self-esteem of a once-great football nation plummeted. Many in Italy have seriously admit that for the first time since 1958 (!) the world championship will be held without their favorite team, and the great Buffon will not be able to conclude an international career in Russia, where it is very, very welcome.


The first half showed that the concerns of the guests were not in vain: Sweden looked much faster and meaner, a better understanding of what to do on the field, attacked more and defended more confidently. Already the opening minutes was allowed to feel the mood of owners: first, Toivonen love to have an elbow in the nose Bonucci, then Forsberg got the opportunity to take a free-kick from a dangerous point, followed by the same Toivonen broke free to kick in a game situation. Let the ball every time he passed just by, however ibrahimović, located on the podium, aggression of the native team was satisfied.

Continue, however, not followed – despite the apparent advantage, chances were given to Sweden with work, it was not the highest class offensive line. And the trio of Chiellini-Bonucci-Barzagli with Buffon behind – the only structure in Italy that’s not yet collapsed under the influence of time and genius Ventura.

But the Swedes had at least approaches and attempts, and their opponents could not boast. On the game “, Italy squadra Azzurra” in the opponent’s half to watch without tears was impossible. The transition from defence to attack is based on two simple principles: either Bonucci stupidly threw the ball forward on a couple of forwards or the ball followed on the flanks, where Darmian and candreva tried to stir up the onset of individual races. Happened only once in the first half, and in the beginning, when Belotti, after the canopy was perevisa all in the air and softly struck towards the far corner. Slightly missed.

It was the only attempt of beating Italy for the first time. The Central Midfielders off the field without the ball, Immobile and wide of the post bullied to the head, desperately raised hands and overlap with each other, and one of the brightest of today’s players in the country – beautiful Insigne of “Napoli” – sat on the substitute, the victim of the tactics of 3-5-2. While the poor man Verratti, who really were only a tackle in the opponent’s half of the field. The referee assessed a foul a yellow card – this means that in the second leg of Ventura will have to do without their leader.


If the first half was for the “Italy Azzurra” just plain (though in his course on social networks once again gaining momentum hashtag #VenturaOut), the second half did bring the Italians to disaster. Poorly played on the rebound after a timeout with his penalty in the 60th minute, the visitors allowed substitute Johansson to strike. He is 27-year-old Greek AEK it does not work – the ball flew slightly to the side of Buffon. But on the way hit the foot of De Rossi and treacherously dived into another corner.

In the remaining time Italians have had to risk and push forward to fire the penalty area numerous innings, and the gate – long-range shots. However, the moment the guests have created, perhaps the only one – Darmian rattled the bar from distance. In the 76th minute Ventura still thrown into battle Insigne, but it was too late: the Swedes stood by the wall.

Yes, 0:1 before the home game – not the most bad result. But when you look at this sad, tired team of Italy with dull eyes and unprincipled attacks, absolutely no confidence that it can win in the return match on Monday, November 13, on “San Siro”.

Mikhail GONCHAROV, Sport-Express

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